Fluency versus accuracy in advanced spoken learner language: A multi-method approach

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Volume 16, Number 2, p.255-275 (2011)




accuracy, error analysis, errors, Fluency, learner corpus, LINDSEI


In this paper we present a possible multi-method approach towards the description of a potential correlation between errors and temporal variables of (dys-)fluency in spoken learner language. Using the German subcorpus of the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage (LINDSEI) and the native control corpus Louvain Corpus of Native English Conversation (LOCNEC), we first analysed errors and temporal variables of fluency quantitatively. We detected lexical and grammatical categories which are especially error-prone as well as problematic aspects of fluency for all learners in the LINDSEI subcorpus, e.g. confusion in tense agreement across clauses or an overuse of unfilled pauses. In the ensuing qualitative analysis of five prototypical learners, no trend for a possible correlation of accuracy and fluency could be observed. Fifty native speakers' ratings of these five learners revealed that the learner with an average performance across the investigated variables received the highest ratings for overall oral proficiency.